Jan 18, 2017(Nyamilepedia) —— South Sudan’s First Vice President, Gen. Taban Deng Gai, a controversial figure who disposed Dr. Riek Machar Teny in July 2016, is allegedly finalizing strategies to dispose the current governor of Northern Liech State, Dr. Joseph Nguen Manytuil.
According to latest insider’s reports, Mr. Gai is currently engaging president Salva Kiir to distance Dr. Nguen Manytuil from South Sudan politics through political channels.
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The first strategy, according to insiders, is to send Dr. Nguen Manytuil to diaspora as an ambassador, a plan that has worked on key politicians like Telar Ring Deng who was deployed to Russia as South Sudan envoy in October 2014.
Although the SPLM/SPLA(IO) leadership believes that Taban Deng forcefully disposed Dr. Machar for not having appointed him as the Minister of Petroleum, many observers believe that Taban’s internal conflict within Unity State was not resolved by the August Peace Agreement that Machar and Kiir signed in 2015.
For nearly three decades, Gen. Taban and Dr. Nguen, who is backed by his Bul-Nuer sub-tribe, have been at a loggerhead over Unity State leadership.
By 2012, Taban as the governor of Unity State had displaced many Bul generals and politicians.
A conflict between Taban’s Unity State government and Bul militia, who were then led by Bapiny Manytuil had then destroyed Mayom and displaced Dr. Nguen to Juba; however, the table turned in 2012 when President Salva Kiir appointed Dr. Nguen Manytuil as the governor of Unity State.
At first Taban fled the country but later returned to join wings with Dr. Machar, another rival whom he felt apart with in 2002 and betrayed to SPLM/SPLA leadership under Dr. John Garang and Salva Kiir.
By the time the conflict broke out in December 2013, Bul militia under Gen. Bapiny Manytuil and Gen Mathieu Puljang rejoined the government leaving Taban with no option other than becoming a rebel.
Many observers believe that Taban could have rebelled even if Dr. Riek Machar and other senior politicians did not rebel in December 2013 to fight the aggressive Manytuils who became the new law and order in Unity State.
During the 2013-15 conflict, Manytuils became too strong fighting everyone and castrating children of other sub-tribes to prove Bul superiority in Unity State.
Dr. Nguen, a son of a chief who married many wives, promoted many of his brothers, cousins and other relatives into big positions in his government while Gen. Bapiny promoted those who were in the military.
By 2015, Lt. Gen. Bapiny has climbed to the position of Deputy Chief of General Staff for Moral Orientation based in Bilpham, Juba, while his brother, Dr. Nguen and Gen. Puljang had full control of Unity State.
This was a big nightmare for Taban Deng and his few close allies.
Taban, although known as a general, had never been to front line and has no military power. In addition, his sub-tribe of Jikany is too small and has no military giants to face Manytuils.
This means Taban was done politically and whether he would have survived the Manytuils was another mystery.
As soon as he arrived in Juba, Taban began to plan how to disarm the Manytuils. One way could have been through assassinations but the two Manytuils fled Juba when they received the rumours. While Gov. Nguen took position in risky Unity State, Bapiny processed his medical leaf to Germany. This was around March and May, 2016.
Despite that Manytuils were no where to be seen, Taban was still in trouble. He had no military ground or political influence to toast his bitter rivals; one at the next door was Machar who kept ignoring his anger.
Notwithstanding that Taban was never a good brother-in-law to Dr. Machar, many past differences with Machar and his wife were still fresh in Taban’s memories and grabbing the position of the First Vice President was going to be a win-win for Mr. Taban.
This option, according to many analysts, was the optimal strategy for Gai to pursue.
While those of Machar were too focused at the national politics as usual, Taban was too into Unity State politic and his own survival.
In July 2016, Taban in collaboration with President Salva Kiir whose focused was his main rival, Dr. Machar, launched one of the major military offensives in attempt to kill Dr. Riek Machar and his senior generals.
Although Machar survived the 40 days pursuit, Taban claimed his most desired seat, the Position of the First Vice President, that should have been assumed by Machar’s deputy Lt. Gen. Alfred Lado Gore.
In this position, Taban was going to be more powerful than all his rivals and all he had to do was to work hard to maintain that position.
As a result Taban went on a campaign to depopularize Dr. Machar within the SPLM/SPLA(IO) and in the region. Whether this has succeeded or not remains debatable.
As Taban gains popularity in Salva Kiir government, Nguen whose brother has already fled the country, was going to be the next target.
According to latest insiders report, the plans to isolate Dr. Nguen are currently on the table. They alleged Nguen could be sent to Arab Republic of Egypt as South Sudan envoy. Similar reports allege that Hon. Lam Tungwar Kueigong, who is aware of these plans, is campaigning to take over the governorship of Northern Liech State.